UMass cross country finishes in second

By Jeffrey R. Larnard

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Last year’s Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year, Ken O’Brien, and the Massachusetts men’s cross country team began its 2009 campaign with a second place finish this past weekend at the Dartmouth Invitational.

The Minutemen tallied 37 points, placing them behind host Dartmouth (21 points). Boston College finished in third place with 73 points, and Quinnipiac took fourth with 120 points.

The University of Massachusetts women’s cross country team, led by co-captain Lauren Stocker, competed in the Fairfield Invitational on Saturday and took third place behind UConn and Yale. The Minutewomen’s 62 points placed them behind UConn’s 28 points and Yale’s 34.  Rounding out the rest of the meet was Fairfield (121 points), New Haven (162), Siena (163) and Bridgeport (212).

The Minutemen were led by senior Jonathan Pierce, with a time of 26 minutes, 2.9 seconds in the 8K race. Pierce finished fourth overall behind Tom Robbins (25:35), Chris Zablocki (25:42.4) and Ethan Shaw (25:58.7), all from Dartmouth. Sophomore Zachary Gordon had the second best time for UMass, 26:10.3, placing him fifth overall.

Six Minutemen finished in the top 12 of the race with Andrew Mulvaney (26:20.3) finishing seventh and Jeffrey Hill (26:28.7), Jason Ayr (26:29.7) and Daniel Barry (26:38.3) finishing 10th through 12th respectively.

Stocker was one of four Minutewomen to place in the top 15 with an eighth-place finish and a time of 19:25. The other three UMass runners in the top 15 were Gina Perno (19:31) in 11th place, Claire Petiti (19:31) with a 13th-place finish and Karen Roa (19:32) in 14th place.

UConn had three runners place in the top five in the 5K race at the Fairfield Invitational with Courtney Dinnan (18:49) taking first place, freshman Megan Jacoby (18:54) finishing second and Sara Leslie (19:14) taking fifth.

Yale had the other two runners in the top five with Stephanie Pearl taking third (18:57) and Elizabeth Marvin (19:08) finishing in fourth.

Both the Minutewomen and Minutemen will compete next weekend as they host five-team meets in Amherst starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19. The Minutemen will compete against Amherst, UConn, Maine and Vermont and the Minutewomen will host Amherst, Boston College, Maine and Vermont.

Jeffrey R. Larnard can be reached at [email protected]